I remember the day I was notified my licensee was walking away from our contract because they weren’t willing or interested in paying the minimum fees any longer. Wow. WOW. It was and wasn’t a shock. I knew that the Spinformation was going to have a life for a few years, but if I didn’t get my act together, didn’t invent some new technologies, if I didn’t hit it right and capitalize on all the momentum, I was going to lose out. And that’s exactly what happened. I didn’t take advantage of the timing, and it came back to bite me. It was such a great thing… and I could do little more than ask myself, “What happened?”
And so, I had to kind of reinvent myself. And take some time off. Everything had moved without pause – developing the product, producing it, bring it to shelf, even battling lawsuits! I’d done it all, run through the entire gamut of the process. It was incredible, and it wore me out. I got a little tired. I needed to do something new. Something to rejuvenate me and give me life.
I had to let go. It was probably the best thing I could have done, but it sure as hell didn’t always feel that way. Letting go, pursuing something new- that’s pretty damn hard when you’re in your late forties, you’ve got kids that will be attending college in the all too near future, you’ve got a mortgage… all that fun stuff. But I had learned early on enough that it was important to be smart (enough) with my finances, and I’d scaled back in order to have some flexibility. I needed to shift gears, and thankfully, I could.
What was I going to do? You have to have confidence and faith that you can find your next idea. I went back to the marketplace and tried to find a hole that would allow me to get back in the game.
But it’s hard on your ego. It’s hard when people ask, “Gee. What happened?” And I heard that from so many people! It’s really exciting when you’ve got people rallying to your side, people that are on your team. But how do you deal when things aren’t going great? I know I was a little bit more sensitive to comments.
There are different ways in which people judge success. Some people viewed Spinformation as failure because it didn’t work out in the long run. People in the industry, people that were close to me. “Why did it fail?” they’d wonder. I was amazed that they even asked that! Spin had sold over three hundred millions labels, was featured nationwide, and I’d licensed around the world! It’d given me freedom and the income to do basically whatever I wanted. But in some people’s eyes, that was not success – an opinion I was all too familiar with. I’d heard the same thing so many years ago, when I was selling on street corners, banking the money from the idea I’d made a reality in my back pocket. I still love that process today. It’s an art.